Most of us have heard the term ‘mindfulness’ in one form or another in the last couple of years. It can be used as a technique to help alleviate stress and anxiety.
If you conduct a Google search, some of the results link mindfulness with meditation, which makes sense; it’s a similar kind of practice.
What is mindfulness?
“A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.”
Mindfulness is a way of life; a way of helping us to remain in the present moment. All too often modern life has us thinking about so many things that we become overwhelmed.
Practising mindfulness on a daily basis can help us to focus our attention where it needs to be. Sometimes though, we need reminding to practice, prompting until it becomes part of our normal routine. There are many ways in which this can be achieved. For me, my orchids provide this reminder. Focusing attention on my orchids each day, noticing all the details, helps to bring my awareness to the present moment.
Next time you look at your orchids, try really looking at them. Look at the small details, the way the flowers glitter in the daylight, notice their fragrances and perhaps the happy memories and promise of sunny days they bring. Notice the patterns in the leaves, the way the veins spread across each one uniquely. Even the slight colour changes on the edges of the leaves. Really look at your orchids. Focus on what is in front of you. You may start to see things that you hadn’t before. In that moment, you will be actively practicing mindfulness by using your senses; sight, smell, touch. You will be in the present, not the future or the past. There is no worry about things to come or that have been.
You can use this technique to help still your mind, in a world that feels like it never gives us time to be quiet. We have a connection to the natural world which can sometimes be muddied by the modern way of life. Not everyone has access to outside spaces like parks or gardens but household plants can help us reconnect. Mindfulness is a tool that we are all capable of using; it is when we choose to use it that it becomes something wonderful and beneficial.
I hope maybe some of you can take some inspiration from this.